Last week we started a new segment called “Old School Artist Of The Week” and the first artist it went to was the controversial “King Of Pop” Michael Jackson. This week I, Venom, will take you on the journey of another man of musical royalty who was and in some circles still is “The King Of New York”. Today marks the death of Christopher Wallace in Los Angeles, but the story of how he got there that night is of legend.
In my other article for #OldSchoolSaturday, I took a look at the newly released book that covers the history of iconic pictures as the one above with Biggie looking majestic. What I didn’t mention in that article was Barron Clairborne who was the photographer of that kingly picture of Biggie Smalls almost didn’t get his vision through the boss Diddy. Puff thought the crown made Biggie look like Burger King, but Biggie convinced Puff it was “a cool concept,” Claiborne writes.
The first time Biggie Smalls was seen on television was in the dancehall legend Super Cat’s music video for “Dolly My Baby” where he shredded his verse comparable to a seasoned rap veteran such as Kool G Rap which made everyone realize he was a star in the making.
It became apparent that Diddy had the star to launch his newly formed label. However there were some who felt that Craig Mack was the hotter act with “Flava In Ya Ear” which also saw Biggie Smalls tearing up the joint.
This situation Diddy found himself in created tension on Bad Boy Records. In a WWETV New York flashback interview below by Ms. Goldi with Steve Riley, the former executive that was on the label at the time explains the friction at the beginning of one of the greatest hip hop labels in history.
Biggie Smalls would be chosen to carry the label and help promote other acts on the label such as Total with the song “Can’t You See” which was co-produced by Herb Middleton. Soon afterwards the Notorious BIG would be on prime time television programming shows such as the hit 90’s sitcom “Martin”. The popular show starred iconic Martin Lawrence and Wallace left a mark on the cast’s co-stars such as Tichina Arnold.
The prime of Biggie Smalls came at a time when hip hop was infiltrating the mainstream like no other time in history. The culture was also taking over fashion and Christopher Wallace made it fashionable to wear sweaters that are still a thing in this day and age. UFC fighter Connor McGregor wore a “Biggie Sweater” for his UFC 205 fight in New York in tribute to the fallen rap star.
This new found fame also had the birthplace of New York crowing Biggie Smalls as “The King Of New York”. This title at the time meant you were the King Of Hip Hop as illustrated by the legendary Roxanne Shante in the early days of rap culture. This of course ruffled feathers as west coast hip hop was on the rise and having #1 hit singles playing on radio across the country besides the mecca of hip hop. It seemed to some hip hop fans in the country the founding city of the culture was not embracing the change in the genre. It all hit a crescendo at the Source Awards in 1995. A historic event that took place in New York saw Bad Boy Records perform at a sell out event representing their home town.
Christopher Wallace has been memorialized for decades after his death, but yours truly Venom wants to remember the time when Biggie Smalls had a dream. I want fans to remember the rapper who brought New York rap back.
WWETV Host Brooklyn pays homage to the legendary MC that was a King in Hip Hop during one of its most competitive times lyrically. Brooklyn gives a rendition of Juicy below with a special announcement about Worldwide Entertainment TV and a huge project associated with Biggie Smalls.
As you seen above the legend of Notorious BIG lives on in another documentary tentatively scheduled for June 1 on Netflix. The world can’t get enough of Christopher Wallace since that infamous night on March 9th in 1997. Gene Deal is the former head of security for Bad Boy Records and to commemorate Wallace on another March 9th celebration he has released his own project concerning Wallace entitled “The Biblical Betrayal Of Biggie Smalls”.
A very emotional film above that illustrates the dynamic life of one of the most prolific rappers in history. It can’t be denied that no matter the day or time or season, the fans will always love and miss Big Poppa.
This has been another #OldSchoolSaturday exclusive article by VENOM for Worldwide Entertainment TV.
WWETV #THROWBACK OF THE WEEK is Biggie Smalls in Toronto in 1995 on Canada’s RapCity.